Along the Pyrénées

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I was quite reluctant to leave Ascain being slightly attached to this small community, actually made some acquaintances, getting used to the church bells ringing every hour and organ music during morning mass, the tiny town square with its Friday night folk dances and Saturday market filled with local produce – all gently draws me into its village culture.

But I have to pack and go soon. Tony, Irene and young Romeo were already waiting to take me on a 350km drive from Atlantiques to the Midi-Pyrénées.

Was a lovely day. “Don’t mind if we go open top”, Tony asked. Of course not! What a treat to breeze through towns linked by winding roads that follow an emerald river with moderate rapids ascending the border range and listening to pre-war French music.

We made a short stop at Espelette known of its dried peppers and quaint handicraft shops. Next we stopped at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to spot pilgrims entering or leaving for Camino Francés. After lunch, we left the small village roads and got on the highway east towards Foix to Ferme Berdot.

Ah! It’s so nice to be back. Was here in April for a lunch stop and eventually ended up staying one night. This time I’m staying for six weeks, grateful to be part of this simple privileged life surrounded by the richness of the air and land in this country. Don’t really know exactly how I’ll be spending my time here but I’m sure it will be good.

Joan Yap

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